• Registration Year


  • Registered Sector

    Old Havana and its Fortifications

  • Historical Function


  • Administrative Status

    Capital of the Island of Cuba.

Location and site

Havana (La Habana) occupies a narrow peninsula at the entrance of a well protected port. Situated in the northernmost part of the Island of Cuba and of the West Indies crescent, it opens onto the Florida Strait and the Atlantic Ocean.

Urban Morphology

An artery runs alongside the sea and up against the contours of Havana's landscape. The overall plan, composed of narrow, rectilinear streets, is organised according to an orthogonal grid. The four squares that formed the basis of the urban design, including the Plaza de Armas which served as the nucleus of the city, are situated near the port.

Baroque and Neoclassical architecture make up the monumental fabric of the old city. The Cathedral and the important civic monuments, including the municipal palace of the 18th century, are of Baroque inspiration, as are a number of urban ensembles, such as the Plaza Vieja. These are complemented by seigneurial homes of Neoclassical styling. The houses are decorated with ironwork and arcades.

Registration Criteria

Criteria IV and V are cited without details.
Evaluation of ICOMOS

Historical Reference

  • Soon after the foundation of Havana in 1519, the Spanish undertook the fortification of the site to protect it from repeated attacks by pirates and privateers in 1528, 1555 and 1563. The process of construction and reconstruction continued over a period of four centuries. In the 16th century, the layout of the Plaza de Armas was established and three other urban squares were added as the base of Havana's original urban plan. By the end of the century, the Castello de Morro was erected at the entrance of the port.
  • In the 17th century, Havana was already the foremost centre for naval construction in the West Indies. Its economic role began to outweigh its strategic role as its port became the transit point for shipping gold and silver from Mexico and Peru to European destinations. New fortresses, convents and churches were erected.
  • Havana was taken over by the English in 1762 and reconquered by the Spanish in 1763. The famous Fortress of San Carlos de la Cabaña (1772-1774) was constructed later, as were several palaces. The Cathedral was built at the end of the 18th century. The Plaza de Armas was the nucleus of the city in the 19th century.
Dip. Marta Hernández Romero
Presidente de la Asamblea Provincial
Poder Popular de la Ciudad de La Habana
Av. de las Misiones, n° 25
La Habana Vieja, Cuba
+53.7 867 0534 / 867 0573-76
+53.7 867 0535
Lic. Perdomo Manso Ramón Zenen
Dirección de Relaciones Internacionales
Calle G No. 305 entre 13 y 15, Vedado
Ciudad de la Habana, Cuba
+53.7 838 2886
+53.7 833 5135
Lic. Pablo Fornet Gil
Plan Maestro-Oficina del Historiador
Oficina del Historiador de la Ciudad de La Habana, Palacio del Conde de Casa de Lombillo, Empedrado No. 151 esq. Mercaderes. La Habana Vieja
La Habana, Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba
+53.7 860 4311
+53.7 866 3744
Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler
Historiador de la Ciudad de La Habana
Oficina del Historiador de la Ciudad de La Habana
Avenida del Puerto esq. Obrapia, La Habana Vieja
La Habana Vieja, Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba
10 100
+53.7 862 6522 / 863 9862
+53.7 866 80 75
Arq. Patricia Rodríguez Alomá
Plan Maestro para la Revitalización Integral de La Habana Vieja
Oficina del Historiador de la Ciudad de La Habana Palacio del Conde de Casa Lombillo Empedrado # 151. La Habana Vieja
La Habana Vieja, Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba
+53.7 860 4311-14
+53.7 866 3744
Tropizancos en la calle Mercaderes
La Habana: Plaza de San Francisco, de noche
La Habana: Casa de las Hermanas Cárdenas, Plaza Vieja, detalle
La Habana: Calle Teniente Rey hacia San Francisco
La Habana: Plaza Vieja
La Habana: Plaza Vieja
La Habana: Muelles San José
La Habana: Malecón
La Habana: Festival de Teatro en la Plaza Vieja
Habana Vieja. Plaza de San Francisco
La Habana: Viviendas en el centro histórico
La Habana: Morro – Fuerte
La Habana: Palacio de los Capitanes Generales
La Habana: Diversidad, resultado del crecimiento, siglo XX
La Habana: Vivienda social Aguiar 68
La Habana: Café El Escorial
La Habana: Entrada al Barrio Chino
La Habana: Plaza y Convento de San Francisco de Asís
La Habana: Habanerita en calle con mural
La Habana: La Catedral
La Habana: Capitolio
La Habana: La Habana Vieja al fondo el Capitolio
La Habana: El Capitolio
La Habana: El Gran Teatro de la Habana en el paseo del Prado
La Habana: Plaza Vieja
La Habana: El Castillo del Morro
La Habana: El Capitoleo
La Habana: Morro – Fuerte
La Habana: Reja zaguán  de la Casa del Conde de Casa Lombillo
La Habana: Plaza e Iglesia de la Catedral
La Habana: Restaurando La Habana Vieja
La Habana: San Ignacio 360, Plaza Vieja
La Habana: Actividad con niños en la calle Obispo
La Habana: La ciudad desde el Morro
La Habana: Museo de la Farmacia Habanera La Reunión
La Habana: Calle Amargura
La Habana: Rehabilitación del Malecón
La Habana: Campanario del Colegio Universitario San Jerónimo de La Habana
La Habana: Vivienda social
La Habana: Vivienda Protegida para la Tercera Edad
La Habana: Plaza Vieja